Today I have a recipe that is perfect for fall, baked apples. As New England natives, apple picking is a part of our yearly traditions. It’s something I always did with my mom growing up, continued with my husband before we had kids and now that we have kids >>> OK >>> Let’s be honest….
We always somehow end up going the very last week of picking season on the only 80 degree day of fall. We’re always overdressed and hot. Someone always falls in the mud, pees their pants, gets stung by a bee, or cries for really no reason other than wanting to cry. Our pictures always end up not happening or just not coming out right. At this point let’s just agree, it’s part of the tradition. So this year wasn’t any different. Only, it was…
My father in law passed away in September and ever since then, my husband hasn’t been himself. It’s hard loosing a parent so young. It came out of nowhere and was super emotional. But my husband is a really strong guy who hides emotional pain really well. So instead of walking around sad showing everyone that he is hurting, his hurt comes out in little bouts of impatience and aggravation.
This all came to a head on the day we decided to go apple picking. As he became the one to cry. And by cry I mean… be a cranky pain in the a$$.
Our apple picking day was supposed to be a little thing we did just to do it, we don’t go anywhere that takes up a lot of time, just a local pull in orchard with no hay ride or extra stuff. It takes us like a half hour to go out and pick apples. So this year I decide I want to start taking more family pictures because we never take nice pictures of ourselves even though I have the means to do so. (I am a professional photographer) I bring my camera, my prime lens, tripod + remote. I set everything up and it all looks great. I take some test shots of the kids, I feel good about everything and decide it’s time to take the family picture.
The whole process took minutes but on this day, my husband had limited patience. He gets irrita
ted by our son not listening when we tell him to stand for the picture. I got stressed, rushed into the picture to take it, didn’t realize the focus had shifted (didn’t switch to auto focus) ran over took the shots so fast and was like ok we’re all done we can go now! Yay no one needs to be upset! Grabbed my stuff and we headed to the car. On the way home I look over the pictures and realized the problem, we were out of focus. I told my husband, we got into a big argument and it ruined out night.
I didn’t even realize that the pictures were important to him which he later explained they were. I didn’t realize how down and out he had been since loosing his dad because he was keeping his feelings bottled up. It all came pouring out, and not in tears. Weeks later I looked over the pictures and salvaged one of us all standing together. You really can’t notice that we are out of focus unless you really zoom in. He loves the picture. I’m still pretty salty about the mistake but, whatever. We got into this huge argument for what feels like nothing over a picture that he ended up loving. A fight that really had nothing to do with the picture at all. So the fight needed to be had. Sometimes, the fights just need to happen. Sometimes, that’s the only way you grow.
My husband and I have been together since we were fifteen years old. We have known each other since we became friends, when we were eleven. We have been in each others lives for twenty three years. We were friends for three years before we started “going out” during our sophomore year of high school and have been together ever since. Our “dating” anniversary is coming up this month, we are going to be hitting nineteen years together. We have been married since we were twenty two (twelve years). We are thirty four.
Marriage isn’t easy. Relationships with anyone for any period of time aren’t easy. They are work. They are passion and fun. They are tears and heartache. They are sex and lust. They are pain and disappointment.
I didn’t set out as a child to get married in my twenties. I never dated around. I never went away to college. I’ve never had a one night stand or been a wing woman or had a group date with a bunch of singles. There are a lot of things that I sacrificed, that we sacrificed, when we made the choice to live our lives this way. My husband and I both had tough childhoods and when we found each other it was like we had found this best friend who we could love and be loved by unconditionally.
As the years went by the bond grew stronger and it became this friendship that stood behind the love. Every time I have ever felt so discouraged by our relationship that I thought about actually walking away, I was stopped by that friendship. It’s the friendship that keeps us going. I think the same can be said for any long term relationship that lasts. Lust and sex doesn’t last forever. It’s fun, it’s hot and so good but… it comes and goes.
There have been periods of time in our relationship where certain things that we have been through lit a spark and re-ignited that spark. Those times are always great and fun, and hot. But, no matter what you do that moment fades. You go back to work. Vacation ends. Daily stress from life sets in and your roles as mom and dad take over. The only thing we can do that will last, no matter what gets in the way, is to be each others best friend.
vvv Our Ruined Family Picture vvv
As a wedding photographer I have experienced so many different types of couples and types of love. It has only added to my theories on relationships and what brings people together and in turn, what makes us stay long term. I see couples who are passionate, who can’t keep their hands off each other and who look into each others eyes as if that person is the only person in the world they ever want to love. And then I see these couples who fight, visibly argue, on their wedding day. They barely touch, are more interested in their guys or their girls, their hair and make up, getting drunk. And I have seen everything in between.
My take away is always this, every relationship comes together for different reasons and stays together for so many more. But will they all last forever? No. Will my husband and I last forever? I hope so. But do I know this for certain? No. I like to think after devoting more than half my life to one person that I have made the right decision but just like everything else in life, there is no guarantee. At the end of the day, all I know is that I love my husband. I truly believe in him, trust him, and devote all my love to him. I don’t doubt that his feelings and intentions are the same. I believe in our love and I see it standing the test of time.
Fall Baked Apple Recipe
- 4 large apples
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)
- 3/4 cup boiling water
- Preheat your oven to 375°F (or 190 °C)Cut out holes in the apples for the stuffing: I use a paring knife and a spoon for this. It's a little tricky at first but easy to get the hang of. Just try to make sure all the seeds are out. Cut around the stem and then scoop out about an inch wide hole, keeping the bottom half inch of the apple intact. You can also use an apple corer. Stuff the apples with brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans then dot with butter: Place the brown sugar, cinnamon and chopped pecans (if using) in a small bowl and stir to combine.Put the apples into a baking dish (like a 9x12 pyrex pan or a square will work too) and stuff each apple with the sugar stuffing mixture. Then place a dot of butter (a quarter of the tablespoon) on top of the sugar stuffing on each apple. Bake: Pour the boiling water into the bottom of the baking dish. Bake at 375°F (190°C) for 30 to 45 minutes, until the apples are cooked through and tender, but not overcooked and mushy. If you do overcook them, they are still delicious just, mushy. When done, remove the apples from the oven and baste them with the juices from the pan. They make a perfect side dish for so many fall dinners or a delicious dessert paired with ice cream.
If that’s how you feel about your spouse too, then I think we are both onto something. I mean, I definitely know I am onto, something… after so many years. Just sayin > little silly faced emoji belongs here <
Some Questions for You!
What is your love story like? How long have you been with your spouse? Are they your one and only best friend or do you still have a girl/ guy best friend too? Is there jealously and miscommunications in your relationship with your spouse because of this other relationship that you keep with your other best friend?
>>> I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU IN THE COMMENTS! <<<